The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Well,well, well. What to blog about today? I took my daughter and one of her friends on a short (3-mile) hike in the foothills near town, hiking behind two separate waterfalls and down along the creek... It sprinkled here and there, and the walk outside felt good. That hike always reminds me of my youth, cruising along throughout the North Cascades and Olympic Mountains of Washington state. I find that I can still name some of the easy plants (the common ferns - sword and bracken, Oregon grape, salal, etc.) but stumble mightily over all the pretty little flowers.

When I was in Boy Scouts, back in the 1970s, I had somehow convinced myself that I could survive in the mountains in the event of a nuclear holocaust. I had my pack ready with my "10 essentials," and felt like I had trained and practiced survival enough - we even had a "survival" campout when I was in eighth grade where we had to live out of one of these little canned survival kits for a WHOLE WEEKEND. I was set. And then, later, in college there was that movie "The Day After" that we were all supposed to watch as a "family" back in 1983, and it was moving and smarmy, and made me think that you should try to get to Ground Zero rather than to try to survive the initial chaos. [Added later... upon reflection, I don't want folks to think of the bleakness of these two juxtaposed notions. I am thinking more along the lines of "I can handle this whole thing by myself" versus "jumping in and going all-the-way with treatment," rather than just throwing in the proverbial towel and giving up.]

Cancer World is kind of like jumping between these two memories. In one frame, I am in control and have a plan (though simple and ultimately very naive!). And then in the next frame I am disconnected from everything. Maybe it's not so quick as frame-to-frame, but you get the idea. Today, after that wonderful hike, I was so exhausted! I managed to get us all home safely (a short drive) before I literally collapsed into bed and slept for 2+ hours. Maybe it's just my body dealing with the initial chemo-therapeutic attack on all the fast-growing cells in my body? Maybe it's just the cumulative fatigue of major abdominal surgery, followed by a small bowel obstruction and a surgical procedure to insert my central venous catheter and starting a new, challenging job. Or maybe, it's just a good time hiking in the woods and working out some atrophied muscles.

They're back, those infamous and annoying hiccups. Maybe this is a good time to sign off. Peace.

1 comment:

alison said...

Hope the hike was a good antidote for the day you spent in the chemo chair. The whole chemo process will be an effort of endurance and patience....not unlike making a difficult climb. Your efforts will be worth it.